Open Startup: Askablogr’s 6-month Birthday

Between summer season family commitments and some great new developments at Founders Co-op, I missed my 5-month Askablogr update, so I decided to run a little experiment. In previous months I took an active role as community manager, welcoming each new member with a personalized question and looking for ways to unblock members who seemed to be stuck (i.e., having trouble with the widget install, etc.). But for the past month or so I have left Askablogr more or less alone, aiming to discover what sort of organic momentum it had absent my efforts.

The good news (at least as far as my time is concerned) is that this hands-off approach had no obvious impact on either new customer adoption or usage. In fact, organic Q&A velocity actually picked up a little during the period. The bad news is that the run rates on both signups and usage are still very low, i.e., ~25 new members / month, and ~10 completed Q&A / month. (For the quantitatively-inclined, lifetime stats for the product are shown in the image above).

Given the results above my inclination is to let this experiment run a little longer. There’s no obvious benefit to my community management efforts, and there’s still (just) enough organic flow into the product to believe that it meets a need for some segment of the target audience. At the current $34/month burn rate it’s not hard to be patient and see where the current customer base wants to take it.

That’s it for now – as always, suggestions and feedback are both welcome and encouraged.